CBT & Flexible Thinking

As The Boy gets older, his anxiety becomes a bigger and bigger challenge. Since elementary school, he has had a preoccupation with absences at school. Not only his (he can tell you what date he had a dentist appointment and missed a day of school in second grade), but those of other students and teachers, as well. This preoccupation has become so intense over the past few years, that it has induced some anxiety attacks and meltdowns, interfering with his ability to function at school.

After a little research, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy seemed to be the way to go, and I went looking to see if there might be some therapeutic activities I could foster at home to help him become more flexible.

We are trying a visual weekly calendar (not monthly so it’s not too overwhelming), so he can see what is planned for the week. In addition, we have a post-it note where unexpected events are listed and crossed off upon completion. This is so that he has a regular spot to which he can refer to see and reassure himself about the change. And because these “unexpected” events occur quite often, hopefully he will begin to see that life goes on when these things happen, and as we say around here, we just have to “roll with it.”

I tend to forget how powerful visual images are for The Boy. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!


Crazy Busy Week

Don't Worry - that's not my hairy arm! (stress by bottled_void)

Don’t Worry – that’s not my hairy arm! (stress by bottled_void)

This week is one of those where I just know I’m going to be stressed out, and after the huge meltdown this weekend, and The Man leaving, I’m rather dreading it.  I have an evaluation by my boss, multiple after school meetings that will last multiple hours, the landlord is due to come over to inspect the house to see what needed repairs there are, and I have an evening school event.  I also have to be “on call” for a nonprofit board meeting, you know, one that I backed out of because I was so busy this week…

The bright spot is a Girls’ Night Out right in the middle of the week — I just hope I can enjoy it with the rest of this going on.  And I hope the forecasted snowstorm doesn’t mess that up!

I also hope The Boy is OK with a babysitter for two nights in a row.  Usually it isn’t a problem, but after this weekend, I’m a little skittish.

All I can do is take it day by day, hour by hour, and just try to stay as calm as possible.  Oh, and remember to breathe.  And maybe stop for some sweet tea on the way to work, or pick up a magazine to read for the evening…

Anyone else a little crazy this week?

Advent Update 2

As of Day 9, our advent calendar hasn’t been torn down, and The Boy is excited to open up a box each morning.  He really couldn’t give a flip about the activities, but he seems to enjoy the little gifts.  We have done a few activities, and all I can say is that this is much better than a couple of years ago.

AC as of day 9

I really like only putting one gift out at a time, although it would be great if I wasn’t frantically making a box and trying to fill it with stuff each night.  Next year, I’ll have my “stuff” together and get all of the boxes done ahead of time, and possibly filled so they are ready to go.  Making the boxes is fun, though, and really fills my “crafty quotient” for the day.

I’m still a little disappointed that we’re not doing as many of the activities, but as long as we’re doing some, I’m going to have to be OK with that.  (It’s not about me, it’s not about me, it’s not about me…)

The bonus is that whatever little gifts I have left over, I can throw in his stocking and call it a day.  Time to go make tomorrow’s box…